Josh Cassada

Graduate/Professional School:
Ph.D., Univ. of Rochester
Houston, Texas
Astronaut, NASA; former Navy test pilot; co-founder, Quantum Opus
In a nutshell, what do you do?
Until recently, I was the Navy’s acceptance test pilot for the P-8A, with additional oversight responsibilities encompassing $28 billion in Department of Defense aviation contracts including AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System Aircraft), USAF KC-46, and Insitu UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle).
Why do you love what you do?
Throughout my career, I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve our nation in a variety of capacities, including the military’s operational, flight test, and acquisition arenas. It has been incredibly rewarding to have had an active role not only in maintaining and advancing our country’s strength and protection, but also in providing direct support to those in need around the world.
How did Albion help you get there?
My long and continued relationship with Albion College has had profound effects on my personal and professional character, but most significant, it has instilled what I call “intellectual courage.” By providing the necessary skills and support of diverse intellectual passions, Albion taught me that, with the requisite determination, engaging in new and exciting endeavors is always within reach.  Perhaps a bit daunting and uncomfortable at times, but certainly within reach.
For me, Albion ...
... fostered and cultivated the curiosity of a true liberal arts education that pervades a lifetime. Albion is able to excite this intellectual spirit through its impassioned faculty and student body alike. But that spirit is not always contagious. Luckily, I was and am quite affected. And I have the Albion College community to thank.

Take It Further: Josh's 2015 Homecoming visitJosh named 2013 NASA astronaut candidate; Josh on his astronaut training (video)Josh's Quantum Opus venture with Aaron Miller, '95; Physics Department